There are dozens of book buyback companies out there. When the time comes for you to sell textbooks, how do you know if you’re selling them to a legitimate buyback company or to someone anxious to cheat you? Distinguishing legitimate companies from sham operations can be tricky. Believe me: there are predatory companies out there, even for textbooks.

How to Decide Where to Sell and Where Not to Sell Your Textbooks

Here are a few red flags to look for when you decide where to sell textbooks.

  1. If the company asks for information it doesn’t need, then hang up! Vamoose! Get out! If a business wants to know your Social Security number or birthdate, it’s probably a scam. It’s reasonable for a company to ask for your name, street address (so they can mail you a check), or even your phone number. If they need more personal information than that, you should reconsider selling your books to that company.
  2. If the company tells you it’ll be an unreasonable amount of time before they can send you your money, it’s probably a scam. It’s normal for a company to take a couple of weeks before sending your check. If it’s going to take several months, then you should reconsider dealing with them.
  3. If the company you’ve chosen plans to give you an IOU for the money, run away. Any time a company offers to send you a note promising money at a later time, it’s most likely a scam. Normally, when you sell textbooks to a company, it will give you a date by which it will pay you (assuming there isn’t a shipping complication with your textbooks, and they arrive by the promised time). If it doesn’t, you’ve spotted a red flag.

Where to Sell Your Textbooks

Is ThriftBooks Legit?

Yes. Founded in 2003, ThriftBooks is a real company, and it is one of the earliest sellers of used books on Amazon. You can trust ThriftBooks and rest assured that the books you buy will come to you in great condition. You can check their reviews on Reddit and Trustpilot; they are all favorable. However, this is a place that sells second-hand books; they don’t offer buyback. Keep this in mind.

Is Better World Books Legit?

This is another company that offers used books for sale online. Founded in 2001 by two college friends, the startup grew into a huge venture. Today Better World Books offers a great variety of second-hand books, from fiction to textbooks. They also donate books and raise funds for literacy and libraries. They do not offer buyback, unfortunately, so you won’t be able to sell your old books to them. But you can donate the books you no longer need.

Is DiscoverBooks Legit?

Yes, it is. DiscoverBooks, “your online corner bookshop,” is the place to both buy and sell books. Opposite to online resources we’ve already covered, this website can help you get some extra cash for your old textbooks (starting from $6 for a minimal buyback order). DiscoverBooks has been doing business for a while now, so they are reliable and trustworthy.

Is SellBackYourBook Legit?

Yes, this is a real company registered in Illinois. Don’t pay attention to the slightly outdated design of their website; the company has been buying back books since 2008 and is BBB accredited. Check their buyback prices on their website (Sellbackyourbook)and their rating and reviews on the BBB’s website. They’ve got an A+, which is saying something about the way they do business and handle all the complaints that may scare you at first.

Is CampusBookRentals Legit?

Sure, CampusBookRentals has been serving students since 2007. The service is BBB accredited (A rating); you can rely on them both if you need to rent textbooks or sell your books back.

Is Book Depository Legit?

Yes, it is a leading international book retailer that ships books for free and offers affordable prices. However, if you’ve been looking for a place to get cash for your used books, this is the wrong resource. Book Depository doesn’t buy second-hand books back; this website only sells new books at affordable prices. You won’t find very cheap offers here, either. Yet, you can find plenty of good books here, nonetheless.

Is Chegg Books legit?

Absolutely. If you are a college student, you probably know all about Chegg, and yes, this is a legit resource both to get help with your studies and rent/buy books. You can also sell your old books back to them. They may not always offer the best prices, but if there is a reliable resource, this is Chegg.

Is World of Books Legit?

Correct. WoB (World of Books) is a global seller of used books online; you can definitely trust them. Founded in 2002, the company grew up to an international business that was awarded B Corporation® (B Corps™) status in 2018. If you are in search of a resource to get books on the cheap, WoB is a great choice. Keep in mind that as a second-hand store, it may have all sorts of books from like new to very good to well-read.

Is Bigger Books Legit?

Yes, BiggerBooks can definitely be trusted as this is a quite popular online textbook vendor that specializes in discounted books and textbooks. The company has been in the business since 2001 and is BBB accredited (A+). They have plenty of offers, and judging by the way they handle complaints, they are quite reliable.

Is Half Price Books legit?

Definitely! It’s the largest family-owned bookstore in the U.S., with 50 years of history and more than 120 stores across the country! Half Price Books sells used books, so you can find many interesting offers at low prices. However, they don’t have a buyback offer. Still, if you need a reliable vendor, here is one.

Is Alibris Books Legit?

This company has BBB accreditation (A+) and the highest BBB customer review rating among the vendors we’ve reviewed earlier: 3.66/5. Which is saying something, right? Alibris is not just a bookseller; it’s an entire marketplace for books, music, and movies. It’s also a place to find used books at low prices (as low as 99¢). Trust it and give it a try.

Is BookScouter Legit?

Undoubtedly. Trust Bookscouter to help find the perfect book buyback company for you. You will have more security going into the sale because BookScouter uses information only from accredited companies. This is why it’s beneficial to use BookScouter from the beginning of the textbook selling process to the end. The information it provides you will be reliable, and you can sell textbooks without much concern. This will not only make the textbook selling process easier but also much less stressful. The odds of your selecting a scam company are dramatically lessened if you rely on BookScouter.